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Green commented on Chapter 5: Buffy Summers Seizes the Day on November 02, 2021 12:47pm Liked

"Well, good news that the ‘vampire’ part explains the cold hands and the blood drinkage. I’m more interested in the ‘moral core’ part.” She matched Giles glare-for-glare. “I have only one word for you: Cruciamentum. I’m not sure what that says about the moral core of humans. But I do know that the fact that you and I are here, together, says a lot about the human value of forgiveness and trying again. 🤩 YES !!! I 💕💕💕 love it when she puts him in his place over the Cruciamentum.

His brow rose. “This afternoon a family of camels— the desert kind, not the tobacco kind— tried to move into my crypt. So, ‘weird’ is set to a low bar at the mo’.” 🤣 LOL, that's freaking great !!

"He also let me read a couple letters from former Watchers that he received after getting the big ‘Publisher’s Clearing House’ notice that he was the winner of a Slayer sweepstakes in Sunnydale.” 🤭 You capture Buffy's humor so damn well.

"Didn’t I, then?” He said from across the table. “You really think Mum with an axe was enough to chase away a vampire with over a hundred and twenty years of fighting under the belt?” 🤔 Food for thought Buffy, just like all the ways around the chip...

"That’s why I asked what you were thinking about during that fight. I was trying to see if you were near that point, but you’re not. You may be momentarily overwhelmed but I think you’ve been there before. I don’t think you’re living with a death wish.” 💕💕 Love your version soooo much better. 

"I’m not ashamed of you, Spike. Like them, you’re my friend.” 🥰🤩😍💕 Awww his undead heart just tried to beat.

😳 Oh wow, Giles took Ethan's power, well can't say he didn't deserve it. 

 Holy Shit what a way to be done with Glory; and I do feel for Ben 😔 (I lost a child to the evils of drugs).

WHAT AN AMAZING STORY 💕🤩💚

Author's Response on November 28, 2021 08:59pm

Jeez, I need to work on this whole replying thing, guh.
I really liked your comments here. By the time I got to this chapter, Buffy's reactions to Spike had changed, which would really affect their scene at the Bronze. In my heart, I felt that she really blew that interaction in canon with her obvious hostility, just from the standpoint of developing an informant and possible ally. Now that they have a comfort level with each other, the scene could be much better. :) 

I'm glad you liked her voice and assertiveness and also Spike's reactions. They're so *meant* for each other!
.
I wrote the very last scene with Giles before the rest of this chapter. In the show, I liked when we got to see that Giles, himself, was a force with which to reckon even though he'd subsumed himself (mostly for the worse, I think) to Watcher-dom. I felt he really had to deal with Ethan and was the only one who could. Locking him away had obviously not controlled him, and honestly, arrest by the Initiative seemed both cruel and dangerous given what we knew of them.

One of the things that having Glory (among other badness) be activated at this time by Ethan/Janus was that both she and Ben could be neutralized without Buffy or Giles taking the moral stain of killing a human. Which left poor Ben, who I've thought about way more than a semi-minor character probably warrants. If he was a living person, well, how did fashionista, no-patience Glory get stuffed into such a steady-eddie, boring clothed dude? (I have questions, so many questions!) More importantly, since he seemed to know something about Glory, that would render him an enabler of evil because he didn't stop her. (He called the quellor and tried to hide his knowledge of Buffy/Dawn from the scabby dudes, but he did little to actually "end" Glory.) No matter what, he's a sad and tragic figure, but if Glory controlled even his reanimated life, he feels less at fault for her actions. At least, that's how I saw him. Poor Ben. :(  

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Green commented on Chapter 4: William the Bloody Gets a New Attitude on November 02, 2021 02:58am Liked

Trying to get her to focus on her survival plans was as useful as discussing the merits of kung fu versus karate with a bowl of goldfish. 😂 I tell my husband all the time that he has the attention span of a goldfish.

"Okay. I believe you.” And apparently it was that simple in Buffy’s shampoo-commercial-hair world. 🥰 Yup your gone now Spike. 

With a decidedly mischievous glance at Spike, she added, “It’s too bad. We’re in a band together and had hoped to play.” 🤗 Oh I 💕 love it; Buffy's thawing too. 

"That said, I don’t need to share whatever germ cooties I have with the inner, squishy stuff behind his ribs.” 🤭 That's awesome.

"It’s fine. Stay,” she said. Then, lips tilting upward she said, “Blonde Bear?” She snorted when he turned to glare at her.” 

“We’ll never speak of this again,” he said.

“The chance of that is… let’s see, what is zero plus zero percent? I think that’s a zero percent chance. But it’s math, so maybe I’ll have to talk it over in detail with Willow.” 

“Just so long as you know, Missy, that it’s a nickname that, when spoken, makes me willing to brave the chip’s headache to avenge.” 

"Got it, Nickname Avenger. You should get a T-shirt that has that motto on it.” She sniggered as she added, “But did Harmony really say she was my arch nemesis? Like in a comic book?”

“Christ yeah,” he rolled his eyes, leaning back into the chair with his legs stretching in front of him. “But see, now that’s really why I couldn’t dust her.” Seeing her patented Slayer’s skeptical gaze, he smirked. “If she’s your greatest enemy, you’ll live for sodding ever. Like a walking, undead insurance policy, she is.”

With that, she burst out laughing. It was the sound of living champagne to Spike’s ears. At this very moment it was even better than blood or smokes. And he didn’t care who bloody-well knew it. 🤩 Yeah I know I tagged the whole darn thing but it's just so effin good.

Brilliant 💚

 

 

Author's Response on November 10, 2021 09:21pm

Oh gosh, I'm embarrassed it took me this long to reply to your comments. I truly appreciate them!

I quite enjoyed reimagining the episode that forms the basis for this chapter, this time giving both Spike and Buffy a chance to be their better selves with each other. They have such chemistry and wit together. (I confess I also liked getting a chance to add in Harmony because I find her so oddly charming.) I'm glad you liked it. 

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Green commented on Chapter 3: Xander Harris Gets an Update on October 30, 2021 05:26pm Liked

"Wait no, don’t answer that.” He patted his loose overshirt and pants asking, “Darn it. Why do I never have a spraycan of Jinx-B-Gone when I need it?” 🤣 lol, I could use one of those too.

Then Willow’s eyes widened so far that her lashes were at risk of becoming tangled in her side bangs. 🤭 That's funny; 💕 love your humor. 

"All I can do is react the way a human who doesn’t give a shit would respond to bullying, which ain’t enough for any of you lot to treat me like a person. 👍 Hit that nail square on the head and why was their bullying never addressed; Top five fails of all time BtVS style. Buffy's supposed to be this HUGE role model and yet bullying Spike was condoned 😡.

Spike and Xander turned their heads like  pair of prairie dogs... 😂 That's awesome, I can actually picture it. 

"That’s wild.” Riley looked between the identical men. “Psychologically, this is fascinating. Doesn't it make everyone wanna lock them in separate rooms and do experiments on them?” 🤨 Really people, can't you see he's not Scooby material. 

"See, I can take the boys home, and ... we can all have sex together, and ... you know, just slap 'em back together in the morning.” 😏 I mean you can't blame her; I'd be the same way 😁 with Spike. 

Seems Buffy is seeing Spike in better lighting now. Riley you're on your way out !!

Wonderful 💚

 

Author's Response on November 01, 2021 12:17pm

Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed this chapter. Going into this chapter I wasn't sure there was much I could use for this story, but it obliged me with so many little places where chaos (and humor) lurked. I hop you continue to read and that you like the rest of this story. 
smile

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Green commented on Chapter 2: Buffy Summers Gets a New Perspective on October 28, 2021 07:07am Liked

The guys and gals in blue must think she was the world’s most homicidal, free-range cookout chef. 😂 Lol, they had to have some suspicion, I mean come on really !!

"Oh yay,” Anya cheered with enthusiasm that was only a little more energetic than that of the late Mr. Bogarty at her feet. 🤭 Yeah sounds about right. 

"Grrr-Argh? Are you people all twelve?” Spike patted his coat for another cigarette. 🤣 Oh I 💕 love it !!

"But, um, from what I remember I think it’s, um, really, really accurate.” 🤩 I really, and I mean really really need to see that painting. 

Wonderful 💚

 

Author's Response on October 28, 2021 11:52am

Thanks, I'm glad you liked this chapter. I had a lot of fun imagining their interactions and imagining Buffy's observations. And even more fun imagining that painting! Well, both of them, actually. For writing purposes. Because they're props. Of course. Tee hee. 
biggrin 

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spuffy forever commented on Chapter 5: Buffy Summers Seizes the Day on September 20, 2021 06:16pm Liked

Loved your tale of chaos a, understanding and love. I appreciated your solution of the Glory problem. hilarious All the animals Buffy encounters in Sunyhells streets.

Author's Response on September 20, 2021 09:43pm

Thank you, this was a lot of fun to write. I enjoyed adding bits of randomness into their lives. Since, of course, things are already random near the hellmouth, it was also fun to imagine how many aspects of that season might have been especially wonky due to Janus. 
smile 

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relurker commented on Chapter 5: Buffy Summers Seizes the Day on September 15, 2021 05:48am Liked

I loved this one! You worked the promps really smoothly into the story, I thought it was really inspired how you started putting a BBQ fork even in the first chapter. Loved the richness of your vocabulary, too.

When random animals start appearing, it's a lot of fun, and I liked the voices of the various characters, you used them all!

This challenge has been sooo good, and I'm glad you decided to partecipated, you slayed it!

scythe  

Author's Response on September 18, 2021 08:47pm

Thank you so much. I'm really glad for this challenge because it somehow freed my Spuffy creativity. It was fun to write and I'm delighted that readers here have enjoyed it.  hearts

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the_big_bad commented on Chapter 5: Buffy Summers Seizes the Day on September 14, 2021 02:40pm Liked

I truly loved the touches of Ethan’s spell that wove through the background of this story.  The numerous animal encounters were hilarious. I also love the way you subtly changed the encounters with Buffy and Spike, leading up to the Fool for Love discussion, which went SO MUCH BETTER than in the show. Thank you for a lovely friendship growing into something more.  :)

Author's Response on September 18, 2021 09:00pm

I think the fact that Ethan (and/or Marcie Ross) had to be in the first chapter was what gave me the impetus to write this story. What delightful chaos he could wield and what damage he could do. I confess it was fun thinking of what random weirdness could be injected into these scenes to make them new. And it gave me a happy chance to adjust a few attitudes for the better, as well. I hadn't originally planned to get as far as Fool for Love, but then I watched it again to refresh my memories for this story and immediately decided that I needed to give it an attitude adjustment, too. 
smile   

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the_big_bad commented on Chapter 3: Xander Harris Gets an Update on September 14, 2021 08:53am

Thoroughly enjoyed this!

Author's Response on September 18, 2021 08:48pm

Thanks! 

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the_big_bad commented on Chapter 2: Buffy Summers Gets a New Perspective on September 14, 2021 06:52am Liked

I’m finally getting back to this story and it’s so fun! I love the dynamic you have between Buffy and Spike and I’m so glad to see Buffy actually trying to treat spike like an ally!

I loved your use of the Crawford mansion and use of the attic prompt. The initial entrance to the mansion was creepy but the attic was pretty interesting! I like your back story of Darla owning it and various Aurelian dropping stuff there for storage. Why doesn’t Spike use that stuff for money?

very-interested to see where things go with the book. I suspect it involves Buffy as light and spike as dark. Good chapter! 

Author's Response on September 18, 2021 08:39pm

Thanks! I loved that the "attic" writing prompt made me think about *why* the Aurelians would've left stuff in the Crawford Street house decades in the past. And then Darla, that calculating and luxury-loving bawd, gave me such a great answer.  

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MissLuci commented on Chapter 5: Buffy Summers Seizes the Day on September 13, 2021 11:55pm Liked

Oh my god!!  That was fucking BRILLIANT!

Please,  please,  please keep writing Spuffy stories.  

You are amazing!

Thank you so much for this tale.

Author's Response on September 18, 2021 08:32pm

Oh, you've made my heart pitty-pat with happiness. heart
I'm glad you enjoyed this. It was such a treat to discover that I could actually write these characters while telling a fun little story. I appreciate your support and hope I can cookie-bribe my muse into wandering this way again. 

Author's Response on September 18, 2021 08:32pm

Oh, you've made my heart pitty-pat with happiness. heart
I'm glad you enjoyed this. It was such a treat to discover that I could actually write these characters while telling a fun little story. I appreciate your support and hope I can cookie-bribe my muse into wandering this way again. 

Author's Response on September 18, 2021 08:32pm

Oh, you've made my heart pitty-pat with happiness. heart
I'm glad you enjoyed this. It was such a treat to discover that I could actually write these characters while telling a fun little story. I appreciate your support and hope I can cookie-bribe my muse into wandering this way again. 

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mother_of_unicorns commented on Chapter 5: Buffy Summers Seizes the Day on August 31, 2021 11:47am Liked

Wow! This was a great story!

 

Congrats on publishing your first spuffy fic <3

Author's Response on August 31, 2021 04:55pm

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed this story. It was great to have an excuse n to add more Spuffy to the world. 
biggrin 

Author's Response on August 31, 2021 04:56pm

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed this story. It was great to have an excuse n to add more Spuffy to the world. 
biggrin 

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irusita commented on Chapter 1: Ethan Rayne Gets a Notion on August 20, 2021 04:16am Liked

nice story! thank you!

Author's Response on August 20, 2021 12:26pm

Thanks. I'm glad you took a moment to let me know. :)

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TeamEricNSookie commented on Chapter 1: Ethan Rayne Gets a Notion on August 19, 2021 01:17pm

Thank you for sharing your story.  It is one of the best in this challenge I've read thus far.  

I love that Spike was the one who saved Buffy.  

I also especially like your wrap up and explanation of Joyce's sickeness, was it addressed so in canon?  I know I've seen it here in fanfic.  

Again thanks for sharing. 

Author's Response on August 19, 2021 02:56pm

Thank you, such a nice compliment. hearts

It was certainly a fun story to write. In the show, Joyce's condition is explained as strictly physical, with no magic involved. Giles and Tara (I believe) both counsel that magical cures wouldn't work as a result of that strictly medical condition. But IMHO it's a big question mark whether they'd be able to "see" magic of the monks' caliber if the impact were inside her brain. And there are indeed a lot of stories that use some glitch from the monks' memory spell to explain why Joyce's headaches seem to start when Dawn appears. A lot of us, it seems, want to save Joyce!   

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violettathepiratequeen commented on Chapter 5: Buffy Summers Seizes the Day on August 17, 2021 11:37pm Liked

Oh YES when this chapter started I was like, if Spike doesn't save her in this moment instead of Riley, I'm demanding a refund.

And that was weird, she realized, since she could feel the distinctive tickle of Spike’s presence even though he wasn’t in her line of sight. He was never quiet, so what was that about? heartsI'll tell you what. He's had his revelation of being in love with her, that's what that's about. And OH I love the image of him silently watching her, focused on nothing but his worry, and her being able to tell he was there and speaking to him without actually seeing him first!

Giles accepting Spike--if only begrudgingly--makes me SO happy to see. 

“Okay, so this is going to sound weird,” she began, calling on the spirit of Talky Buffy.  I. LOVE. YOUR. HUMOR.

She laughed at the image of Spike battling back a family of grumpy camels. How did he know that she needed that?  
Yeah, he was Spike. Of course he did. Of course he did. hearts

Okay... obviously Fool For Love is the greatest, and I'm in love with the fact that so far you're sticking to canon while also... putting a friendlier slant on things. So Spike's “Right. You want to learn all about how I bested the Slayers and you want to learn fast. Right, then. We fought. I won. The end” line isn't her being difficult and distant like he is in the show... he's trying to protect her, from the pain, from the reality. Or protecting himself from her thinking badly of someone she's just starting to warm up to. 

If he were this politely seductive with her friends, she wondered if he might already be in the inner circle of Scooby-land. Interesting how she also refers to it as an inner circle.

Firmly trapped once more, Old Ones such as Chthon, Thuron, and Illyria, ceased their stirring and once again were unable to call out to cultivate earthly acolytes.  Ummmm did you just save Fred??? Because if so, you can stop the chapter right here, happy ending achieved! 

In a swank penthouse that was far more extravagant than a hospital intern’s salary could afford, the god named Glorificus screamed as her essence ripped from the body of her host. Now entirely mortal, Benjamin Wilkinson collapsed on the floor as lifeless as he had been weeks ago when Glorificus first raised him for herself. No longer glamored, the track marks from his final overdose were barely visible from under the taffeta sleeve of the cocktail dress in which Glorificus left him.  AND you saved Buffy!! And Joyce... ugh, you're brilliant.

This was SO enjoyable to read; thank you for posting! heart

Author's Response on August 20, 2021 12:57pm

By Chapter 2, I'd decided that Fool for Love had to be part of the story. She needed to know what he could tell her about Slayers, free from Watcher dogma, and we needed to see how they'd deal with that interaction when Spike was in process of accepting his feelings, not knowing what was safe to say, when Buffy was receptive. In the show, I felt she really missed the opportunity to learn in that part of the episode (even though viewers learned a lot). As an added bonus, this episode gave me chance to change the "Buffy is injured" scene, where it never made sense to me that Riley, having found the seriously injured Buffy, brought her to her bedroom(!!) for first aid. Dude!  

I'm so glad you enjoyed this story. And, I'm happy that you're right: I did manage to save Fred. When I thought about what doors Janus (of the doorways) might've opened, I realized the Deeper Well was a likely candidate because how *did* Illyria communicate with that W&H guy from incommunicado captivity that had held for millennia? I was delighted with that, and also with being able to explain the unnatural "twinning" of Glory and Ben. It was totally unplanned when I started, so especially fun to make happen. 

Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know what you enjoyed in this story -- it's so helpful and nice! 
hearts 

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violettathepiratequeen commented on Chapter 4: William the Bloody Gets a New Attitude on August 17, 2021 08:33pm Liked

Okay the idea of Spike checking up on his own health by licking his noseblood is now my new headcanon. My poor little anemic vampire.

 Vampires didn’t lose themselves in soap operas; they bathed in their enemies’ blood and laughed at their petty dramas. Yeah, yeah VAMPIRES do that, darling. You're different and you know it.

she grunted and fidgeted in the way that his Nibblet occasionally did when she urgently needed to visit the loo. HIS Nibblet. And Dawn's 14; you've outgrown that by then (generally) meaning he has memories of her from years past!! Aw!

Of course they had; the Slayer’s mum was special enough to make even a vampire care. Agghh I know there's a whole storyline going on too and it's BRILLIANT, really, but... I'm always gonna get distracted by Spike looking out for the Summers women.

Not without a quick hug from Mum and also the Nibblet. Ahh there's more! I love it, and I love that Joyce will hug him and keep marshmallows on hand for him all while talking dispassionately about her daughter's boyfriend, and... and I love all the imagery of the Slayer's inner circle, and Spike is slowly moving up in it while Riley is slowly moving out.

He forbore explaining that there was no way she could be… testosterony… about anything. Being gloriously female and all. He also managed to refrain from asking why she’d expect the enormous hall monitor to feel all squishy with happiness after developing a case of physical vulnerability around his perky, superpowered girlfriend. His nose, remaining unbroken, thanked him for his unusual discretion. This paragraph is just HILARIOUS all the way through and you need to know that.

She nodded. “Come on, then,” she said, resigned. “Riley knows that he can save himself, but maybe whoever is in there can’t.”  That's my girl. It is not her job to save Riley.

He patted himself to verify that his blood, smokes, and liquor had all made it through the melee in their various pockets. Priorities. But OOH I love that the monk basically said that Dawn was Spike's responsibility too... and that Spike was so outraged to hear what had been done to her!

Author's Response on August 19, 2021 08:46pm

This was so much fun to write from Spike's perspective, especially after shifting his and Harmony's roles a bit. He was so clever and snarky on the show, with a divergent perspective, which made this episode mash-up a treat to imagine. Spike and I both thank you so much for letting us know what you especially liked! 
flowers 

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violettathepiratequeen commented on Chapter 3: Xander Harris Gets an Update on August 17, 2021 07:52pm Liked

So I was gonna make a comment about "hey, it's kinda cool to see Spike working with this gang even though Riley is still with Buffy!" But then no... no Riley had to go and be a big insecure douche, and try to cut Spike out even though Buffy is ACTIVELY trying to include him. And I LOVE that she's doing that by the way.

I LOVE your writing humor, and I feel the need to repeat that very frequently. If I was to list every line here that made me laugh, well, it would be a very long list!! Thank you for that!

I think the little sprinklings of random chaos are fascinating--though I am interested in seeing what the plan was supposed to be, and how Ethan will amp it up!

Author's Response on August 19, 2021 08:35pm

Yeah, given the season we're in, Riley had to make an appearance. Rewatching these episodes to write this story, it really stood out (at least to me) how they showed him as off-kilter with Buffy: just a bit awkward in his enthusiasm, a bit too gung-ho in his interest in killing monsters, and so forth. It made it easier to show how he'd be extra "me Tarzan from Iowa' possessive with her when sensing her attention turned toward Spike.

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violettathepiratequeen commented on Chapter 2: Buffy Summers Gets a New Perspective on August 17, 2021 07:25pm Liked

“This inventory is surprisingly well organized,” Giles exclaimed as though the late Mr. Bogarty had proved to be an unexpectedly apt pupil. Rather than, you know, a dead guy on the floor. HAHA yeah that was kind of... condescending of Giles to say of a guy whose corpse he literally has to step over in order to make that statement. biggrin

She likewise shrugged off a torrent of plastic eggs that bounced off her head and shoulders, though she did happen to see that they fell from a basket labeled “Eggs of Distraction.” That is hilarious; oh my gosh I'm already deeply in love with your humor.

 Ahh I LOVE early s5 Spike, because it's always a toss-up of how much he's actually in love with Buffy, and how much he knows it. How helpful he decides to be when it comes to her, and how much he tries to be near her. 

I seriously want to believe that Spike was fully aware that his nudes were up in that attic for anyone to find.biggrin

Spike already calls Dawn his Nibblet! I think in canon it's implied their relationship really didn't start until Blood Ties, even though he had memories of her from way back when just like everyone else. But I love here that she's brand new to this world, and yet he's got knowledge of her diaries, and she's told him what she worries about!!

Also I am loving the distinct lack of Riley so far. 

Author's Response on August 19, 2021 02:45pm

The mixture of humor amidst the TV-suitable horror is one of the things that originally drew me into the show. I figured that an overarching chaos spell gave room to add more offbeat goofiness to the original action. Regarding Spike and Dawn, I always liked their relationship; he was like the bad-habits uncle who gives kids a relief valve from their serious parents. I headcanon that part of why Spike became more of a support as this season progressed was because the monks' spell gave him memories and urges that inclined him to better protect Dawn. From that, I liked the idea that he would already "be there" for her even this early in the season. I'm glad you liked it! 

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violettathepiratequeen commented on Chapter 1: Ethan Rayne Gets a Notion on August 17, 2021 07:02pm Liked

Of course he had perfectly functional electric lighting, but torches and candlelight created such a lovely atmosphere. But really, what mage worth the title would suffer a workshop lit by everyday incandescent lamps sitting on catalog furniture? Ahaha, I FELT that. I would totally have all my lighting be torches and candles if I could.

I LOVE the Marcie/Ethan dynamic: both cool and malicious, both in this for themselves but also knowing how to play nice to get what they want. Both undergoing some of the same trials, and now they're in a reluctant kind of student/teacher relationship, with the thought that the other could betray them at any moment, and I'm here for it!

And I too am fascinated to see what the fallout from Ethan's spell will be!

 

Author's Response on August 19, 2021 02:24pm

Thanks! Ethan was so much fun to write, and it was a treat to imagine the dynamic between Ethan and Marcie. I honestly am tempted to write something else with them as its own stand-alone piece outside of EF. :) 

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pfeifferpack commented on Chapter 5: Buffy Summers Seizes the Day on August 12, 2021 02:22am Liked

where was Riley, the notorious Dudley Do-right of vampire hunting? Love that term LOL.

Well, I figured Mum and the Little Bit might not be ready to see you all wounded-like. And would likely lose time not knowing what to do and then rushing you to hospital. But, I knew the Watcher likely had a whole field hospital in a cabinet somewhere  It never made sense that Giles wasn't the one to patch her up. 

Others who didn’t know the vampire as well as Buffy might see the concentration of a predator, but she saw a man confronting a puzzle that possibly was a trap  So glad Buffy hasn't sidelined that insight of hers. Spike responds to how he is treated. He'll be a great ally if they start to treat him that way and give him respect from time to time as well.

Love the LITERAL sparks Buffy and Spike have when touching the book together. Hint, Giles, hint!

 “When you go all snobby sarcastic-guy on him, he goes all London thug-guy on you. But when he’s with me, he’s helping. He’s changing. We should reward that.”  Exactly. And when they bully him or belittle him he responds with Venum and threats.

Spike lately has shown honor of a sort, and seems to now help you without recompense. I also now suspect that he has a better education than he lets on. In any case, I shall endeavor to look beyond my prejudices to see the good in his actions. When it’s there, of course. Even with the disclaimer that's a good start. Smart move on Buffy's part to remind Giles of his OWN slips and betrayals. 

“This afternoon a family of camels— the desert kind, not the tobacco kind— tried to move into my crypt. So, ‘weird’ is set to a low bar at the mo’.”  I can just see his face fending off potential spitting roommates.

 I really love their conversation in the Bronze. Similar but totally different in tone. Love how the important information is imparted without all the hostility. 

“Didn’t I, then?” He said from across the table. “You really think Mum with an axe was enough to chase away a vampire with over a hundred and twenty years of fighting under the belt?”   EXACTLY. In fact, Joyce showing up should have worked in Spike's favor. Just kill the mother and devastate Buffy long enough to do her second. Just like Halloween... he had her then too if he'd been set on bagging his third Slayer without it being an equal fight.

And were those monkeys perched on that speaker in the corner? Why were there monkeys in the Bronze? Were they into alt-rock and ballads? Free pretzels from the bar?  Somehow the town being full of zoo animals wandering about just tickles me. Guess I can appreciate Ethan more than some other can.

“Wow, you must have been a poet in a former life,” she said. “You know, before the whole thug-punk thing. Or maybe the whole Victorian vampire thing.”  And for once she has the gift of insight that Spike is chock full of. Good call Buffy.  As an expert at misdirection, she knew she’d spotted a big, juicy, look-the-other-way distraction. 

 just because she was the original slayer don’t mean she’s right  Amen. She was also pretty well programmed by the shadow men (like of like a Council trained Slayer).

After a while, fighting that, fighting alone, wears on a human, especially one that’s so deeply infused with good the way you Slayers are. Yes! That is exactly what he meant by that. They get tired of the never-ending battle. The nightly deaths or possibly dying herself. They want to rest (AKA the death wish). They get TIRED.

Spike is right IMHO about the inner Sineya being similar in effect to the vampire demon. Not to be totally ignored because it brings important and useful things to the table at times BUT not the final word. Sometimes needing to be ignored by overruling. He controls his demon and Buffy can and usually does control her Slayer essence instincts but she's a bit overwhelmed and distracted of late. 

“Partly so he remembers he don’t own me, he just rents my time. But mostly it’s ‘cause I like seeing his face when I do. He looks like he just drank clabbered milk but is too posh to just spit it out.”   Love this reasoning. I think he also just loved to stick it to them. His only way to be "evil".

Love that Buffy isn't hiding that Spike is in her favor. Stand your ground and they'll come around.

LOVED the face-off between Ethan and Giles. I love when Giles is capable and more! His magic, which had been his constant companion since he could remember, was completely, entirely gone.   Too delicious.

Love the undoing. Even the undoing of Glory and Ben! Perfect!

 Released from its unnatural human binding, the Key to interdimensional portals left her. Speeding away to its eternal, ageless self, it awaited its intended purpose many centuries in the future. The girl Dawn merely shrugged and continued with her homework, now mortal and bound solely to the magicks of Mother Earth through the flesh and blood of her family, dead and undead.  YAY, Dawn stays (and belongs to Buffy and Spike) and Joyce gets well and the Key part flits elsewhere. Nice and tidy there!

those feelings belonged to their own hearts, where they had never been touched by a careless witch’s spells or by Janus’ urgings. There they remained to be tended and blossom as the two of them chose. Love this and how you make it SO clear that the love comes from their own hearts and not magic.

This whole story and how you concluded it, all the way to And thus endeth the tale was a delight and totally brilliant. Just loved every single word. Going on my bookshelf (and Kindle) so I can savor it again in the future, likely more than once. 

Excellent tale perfectly told.

Kathleen

Author's Response on August 12, 2021 11:52pm

Thank you so much for your kind comments on this story (blush), they mean a lot to me. 
hearts
I was glad I was able to work in the scene at the Bronze. I felt that would've been a perfect time to see how much she could benefit from just listening and learning to the demon(s) among them to gain more perspective. Since she was already getting closer to Spike in this story, she was able to use the time more wisely and kindly than in canon. That scene also gave a neat opportunity to briefly hint at Spike's likely conflicted feelings at this point regarding the main Slayers in his life. 

The ending was especially fun to write, with Giles' taking care of business in an emphatic way and with the results of the spell's unwinding. When I looked at the early episodes in the season it struck me that Toth just deciding to kill the Slayer for some reason, Dawn's appearance, Glory's appearance, and other minor events seemed random, so what if they were due to Ethan's meddling. 

I actually wasn't sure where this story was going to go, at first, so I'm happy I was able to weave a full story from the bits and pieces with which I started. I appreciate that you let me know that I succeeded. Many, many thanks!

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magnus374 commented on Chapter 5: Buffy Summers Seizes the Day on August 09, 2021 04:14am

Nice to see that Spike was helping her. I liked the things Buffy pointed out to Giles and that he showed some respect for Spike. Buffy and Spike's talk about Slayers had of course some differences to it since they are closer this time, many good things was said. I really liked how Giles confronted Ethan and it was interesting to see how many things that was involved in Ethan's spell. 

So many things turned out for the better here, good to see.

Author's Response on August 09, 2021 11:23am

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and tell me what you saw and liked in the chapter. It's so helpufl. 

Giles, being the only experienced adult in that circle, didn't get a mirror of his behavior. So, I imagined what it would be like if Buffy did that. Since she's seeing Spike differently, she could better see how Giles (and the Scoobies) kept pushing him to the side and ignoring opportunities to help him be a better vamp-dude.  

I'm glad you liked Giles with Ethan; it was the very first scene I wrote in this chapter. One of the things that was fun to imagine, once I'd placed this story within this season, were the number of bad things that were either based on dualities (e.g., two Xanders or Ben and Glory) and the essence of portals (e.g., Dawn's Key-ness, Glory's plans), and how the latter two characters both showed up "poof" after the season had started. It gave me a lot that could ascribe to Janus, the dual god of gateways, being invoked around that time. It was fun trying to figure out how to make that work.    

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Fluffypuppy commented on Chapter 2: Buffy Summers Gets a New Perspective on August 03, 2021 07:30am Liked

Kinda fun to see willow and buffy teaming up

Author's Response on August 03, 2021 10:39am

Thanks! I missed their camaraderie in later seasons, so was happy to give them that time together.
Girlfriends matter! :) 

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magnus374 commented on Chapter 4: William the Bloody Gets a New Attitude on August 02, 2021 12:21pm

It is a joy to follow Spike's thoughts. His observations is good and he tend to make them funny too. As a vampire he would need human blood, it really was a lot of things Angel lied about or didn't say. 

It was good to see Spike talk with Joyce and tried to convince her to see a specialist.

The fact that Spike didn't try to get the chip out will help with how Buffy sees him. It was also good to see that they helped Harmony a bit. Now Glory is here too and Spike is more involved, which also is good.

Author's Response on August 03, 2021 11:51am

Thank you!
Spike was interesting to write. After all, he's still a vampire with different morality and experiences than the Scoobies, although he's fitting more-and-more into their world. In this chapter I wanted him to be more aware of his inner feelings than on the show. It was neat to imagine him aware of evolving into his new self, while letting us see how he's getting there step-by-grumpy-step. Since I decided to make him the POV character for this chapter, he narratively had to be involved in more of what transpired during these episodes. More aware of his feelings, he can help Buffy even if it's just by backing her plans. Also, it means not everything is solely on her shoulders.

PS: I'm also glad he helped Harmony; I liked her character and, vapid though she is, I thought she could do much better than being used as Blondie Bear's rebound.  :) 

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pfeifferpack commented on Chapter 4: William the Bloody Gets a New Attitude on August 02, 2021 07:13am Liked

Yes, yes, yes, to the actual need for human blood and Spike's vague thoughts on the subject. Also good point about Angel and all his pretenses and lies laying the groundwork for all they "knew" about vampires (even if most of it was wrong or at least only half true). Once again he cursed Angel for fooling the Slayer into believing he never ever— no, no no— sipped any of the jus de humain. One of these days he’d ask her why she really thought he’d been taking his looming forehead on-the-regular to the hospital’s blood donation drop-off night.  Yes, Angel had to drink human, it wasn't all pigs blood.

This was a delightful way to mix in so much of S5 beautifully but with them on a faster track to getting along and more,

Harmony would try the patience of a saint and Spike is not a saint. I do love how you turned it around and had her be the one with the idea of getting Spike's chip out. She's lucky she is so inept and also that Spike has figured out he's more interested in Buffy than in getting his evil on. She can head to LA and a new life.

Glad Spike stopped by Joyce's and hope she takes his advice. If he'd been around he might have saved her from premature death. 

Love the gossipy demon who sells blood. Spike got a lot of important information there both on Glory and Ben and also Riley's suck house habit. Those pieces will all come together in good time. 

Good having Spike there to help when Buffy got into it with Glory. He knows about Dawn from the start. Love that the monk called Spike Buffy's vampire consort. Neither of them seemed to notice that bit.

Maybe the guard will be safe too since they said no one was there. Save him from being blood sucked.

I loved the chaotic details like the zoo animals on the run (pictured the scene from the first Jumanji) then the geese. Now they know that Ethan IS free and out there. 

Loved how the doctor agreed that Harmony was a very inept vampire.

Riley is being edged out. Love that Spike enjoyed knowing that Joyce isn't too enamored with Buffy's boyfriend.

Love the dynamic between Buffy and Spike. They've pretty much become friends at this point at the very least. It feels natural.

Spike using bad B movie dialogue to use the prompt was funny. I can see the faces on those kids when he spouted about aliens in Zimbabwe LOL. Likely thought he was a drug addict and skedaddled quickly away.

Excellent update.

Kathleen

Author's Response on August 03, 2021 11:13am

Thank you! I really appreciate knowing what you saw and liked in this chapter. As a writer, it's my happy place.

As soon as I knew I wanted this chapter from Spike's POV, I realized there was so much more he'd get to (need to) know about than in the show. Which, in turn, meant he could be there during events that the show had Buffy find out or thread together by lonesome. (Poor Buffy!) It was fun trying to experience it all through his perspective. It also gave me a chance to have Spike become more self aware early-on; instead of taking a sudden header into a new direction based on a dream, he could be alert to his own feelings. Since he's so aware of others' feelings and motivations, it made sense to me that he'd know his own, as well. I secretly wish this challenge included one or two more chapters so I could unroll some of what was discovered in this chapter a bit more slowly, or fully. And yet, the rigor of doing so much in just a few chapters is a fun story-telling adventure, on its own. :)    

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vicdave99 commented on Chapter 4: William the Bloody Gets a New Attitude on August 01, 2021 11:03pm Liked

Love it. 💚

Author's Response on August 03, 2021 10:40am

Thanks! hearts

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magnus374 commented on Chapter 3: Xander Harris Gets an Update on July 26, 2021 11:58am

Well at some point someone actually had to be killed by a barbecue fork but I loved that it actually happened. Chaos do have some weird effects on the Hellmouth. I really liked how Spike explained how he new they were both Xander, all those vampire senses are being useful.

This chapter too had so many good little things, all these clever and funny moments are a joy to read.

Author's Response on July 26, 2021 08:11pm

I'm glad you liked this chapter. I kinda like the idea of Janus' chaos being fomented at different levels. Sometimes it's Ethan's Halloween that snares a whole town (plus the Slayer, *such* a bonus). Sometimes it's Ethan focusing on Giles and turning him into a Fyarl (and almost getting away with it, but for Spike). And sometimes it's Ethan just letting it fly free, with distractions like a literal barbeque fork, Burger Bob's sinkhole, and escaping monkeys, oh my! It was also neat seeing how much more I could help Xander see through the experience of being doubled and having Spike actually help him. Thanks again for your comments!  

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pfeifferpack commented on Chapter 3: Xander Harris Gets an Update on July 26, 2021 05:48am Liked

 They were the perkiest, happiest Whos in Whoville. LOL clever line there and very visual.

Love that they found a guy ACTUALLY killed by a barbeque fork! “Guys, I think he was actually stabbed to death by this fork.” Her voice conveyed the type of disbelief usually reserved for something like discussion of Soviet Olympic scoring or the discovery that Giles knew something about a current TV show.  

Your asides and dialogue are very witty and clever and sound just right for the characters.

“You barmier than usual, whelp? Of course you’re you. Who else smells like the 7-Eleven and sawdust, with an overtone of cat pee, and wears a modified Indian tablecloth as an overshirt?” Who indeed! Naturally Spike would be able to tell with both of them actually. Also love his tips on lurking.

 “See, boy, you can even cave to Dracula. But after your Scooby chums finish taking the mickey out of you, you’re back in the herd. The Great Forehead can go all Angelus and get sent to hell, but Slayer forgives him and it’s no longer cricket to call out his failings. As for old Spike, the only one defending my intentions and stopping you wankers from kicking me in the teeth is me. Not the Slayer.” He's not wrong. If Buffy had embraced Spike into being one of the gang they would have accepted it.

 For the first time he saw a slight, almost pretty man, bristling with defenses and wrapped in an oversized bat’s wing of hair-trigger retorts. A man who returned again and again to the Scoobies like an abandoned dog controlling his growls just enough to get scraps. I hope Xander remembers this insight because he's actually seeing Spike for the first time unfiltered. He also has had to see the mirror that Spike's use of the word "bully" reflected to him about how they've treated him. Could the man and the vampire both be the same guy?  Um... yeah.

“Psychologically, this is fascinating. Doesn't it make everyone wanna lock them in separate rooms and do experiments on them?” I know that's canon but glad you included it. That line said SO much about Riley, and not good things either IMHO.

“You know. If I had this chip outta my head, everyone in this room would get a pass. Except you. I'd have killed you a long time ago.”  I believe that is true. By this time Spike really wouldn't have harmed the Scoobies, Giles, or Buffy. Finn was another matter and with reason.

I really love how you write! This was a splendid chapter.

Kathleen

Author's Response on July 26, 2021 08:36pm

Thank you so much! As a writer who hasn't written much in this fandom, it's so helpful to know the points that "land" with you as a reader. I truly appreciate the time you take to provide feedback and encouragement. 

I spent almost half the writing time on this chapter on that scene between Spike and floppy Xander in the rain. Xander so rarely lets himself be vulnerable for real without "fronting" as an everyman clown or or being proactive with put-downs. But there he was as his weaker half, drenched and "outside" of his support system, and in actual danger. I imagined Spike would see and understand that because he reads people and social dynamics so well. Also, he in some ways was akin to Xander as a human, so might feel moved to provide some insights while seeing Xander in a state where he might listen for once. And your point about Xander maybe seeing himself in the "bullying" mirror is what I hope for him. I'm really glad it worked.

Once again, thank you very much for taking the time to comment. It makes my little writing heart go pitter-patter. 

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pfeifferpack commented on Chapter 2: Buffy Summers Gets a New Perspective on July 20, 2021 04:11am Liked

 At least this time Giles was here, so she could maybe avoid the semi-annual interrogation about why she was found near yet another barbeque fork victim. The guys and gals in blue must think she was the world’s most homicidal, free-range cookout chef. Clever and very much the way the show had the police behave. Also funny.

Giles and Willow certainly overreacted to Spike being there given his chip! Glad Buffy remembered.

Typical Giles not listening to Spike when he starts to offer information. What an idiot. Ignored Spike and Anya as resources from his own arrogance and prejudice.

Yes he lost ground with the whole Adam thing but how many times have each of THEM screwed up? She made a mental note to talk with Giles about trying to initiate a new, better relationship with Spike over time. He might never be a Scooby, but he could maybe be an ally. Duh, that's just good use of resources.

“Grrr-Argh? Are you people all twelve?” A question that went through my mind every time they had a character (especially Willow) talk in an infantile way. 

 “That mansion’s been in Aurelian hands for over a century, since before Angelus got his soul stuffed up his bunghole. It was one of Darla’s little safe havens. A place to retreat and enjoy the healthy spa effects that only a hellmouth can offer.” OH! That is a brilliant way to fill that plot hole of Angel and his mansion. The fact he continued to live there after his return from hell was weird if he was just squatting or had killed the owners given the return of his soul. This works well. Darla needed someplace when she would come to the bidding of the Master after all. She wasn't the rundown factory or crypt sort of vampire. With the Master stuck there they would need a proper place that was impressive too.

LOVE the backstory on the mansion. Don't think I've seen anything like that before and it is SO logical!

just surprised the Great Forehead didn’t go there right away when he followed your sweet Slayer self to town. White hat and all, the first week he was here he could’ve taken her out of your way in one heroic swoop of hair gel. Which also would’ve removed one of Nest’s primary lieutenants right off the top. Something I've wondered at more than once.

The surprise in his eyes was a bit off-putting as she realized that thanking him was obviously not something they regularly did. Something else to discuss with Giles.  Indeed given their status as the "good guys" basic respect and appreciation should be a given.

Uncomfortably, however, they were mostly petite, blonde teens.  Yet another thing about Angel for Buffy to ponder. Spike's given her several things to consider.

I love all the things they found in the attic (and love the use of the prompt). The nudes of Spike were worth the trip alone. Buffy should confiscate them for... er... research LOL.

if, for example, she ever needed to return to check out anything else in the attic. For Giles. Because it was important.  LOL Yes because those taxidermied animals demand further examination. LOL

Great chapter with a perfect setup for the next prompt built-in as well.

I'm loving all the rich details in this tale. The whole backstory on Darla and co. was wonderful. 

Love the mysterious tingle Buffy felt with the book. Seems Willow didn't feel it but Spike did. Cool!

Excellent update.

Kathleen

Author's Response on July 21, 2021 12:10am

You're such a careful reader -- I *love* it! Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment. 

I enjoyed figuring out what to do with this week's prompt (which truly stumped me for most of the week) given the loose story I'd built in my mind based on the first prompt. What episode could I put it into? How could I reshape the episode to fit? And what would be plausible reason for her to go to an attic that could also move my own desired story forward? I have to admit that building a backstory on the Crawford Street mansion and why there would be occult valuables in it was such a fun thread to pull and build from.

I also like to imagine that Buffy, being natively intelligent, would be open to new points of view about Angel and even regarding Spike. The show didn't give her that chance, so it's my pleasure to do so.  
smile

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magnus374 commented on Chapter 2: Buffy Summers Gets a New Perspective on July 19, 2021 02:58pm

I really enjoyed this. The chapter had an amusing tone running through it. We had these little comments and thoughts that made this chapter a light one while developing the plot, nicely done.

Author's Response on July 19, 2021 11:53pm

Thank you so much. I always enjoyed the way the show, especially up through S5, peppered bits of goofiness and humor throughout episodes. It gave such charm and humanity to the show, leavening the more dramatic or sad moments. I wanted to spend time with the characters in that space. I'm glad it comes through.  

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vicdave99 commented on Chapter 2: Buffy Summers Gets a New Perspective on July 18, 2021 11:43pm Liked

Fantastic chapter. 💚

Author's Response on July 19, 2021 08:53am

Thanks. Glad you liked it.   
smile

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the_big_bad commented on Chapter 1: Ethan Rayne Gets a Notion on July 14, 2021 11:50pm Liked

I enjoyed this start to your story! Cant wait to see what Ethan has planned for Buffy and Giles and Spike. Very believable premise.

Author's Response on July 17, 2021 01:07pm

Thanks, I'm glad you liked this premise. Writing Ethan Rayne is fun! 

Author's Response on July 17, 2021 01:07pm

Thanks, I'm glad you liked this premise. Writing Ethan Rayne is fun! 

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